E.U. May Offset U.S. Cuts in Overseas Abortion Aid

LONDON, FEB. 5, 2001 (Zenit.org).- European Union partners are poised to fill some of the gap created by President George W. Bush´s decision to end U.S. payments to international organizations which provide abortions, The Guardian reported today.

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This year´s funding is unaffected, but later the U.N. Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation are likely to feel the effects of the fund cutbacks, and many other organizations will also be affected, the newspaper said.

Clare Short, Britain´s international development secretary, is due to discuss the matter with the European Union commissioner for development, Poul Nielson, in London this week.

Short is anxious for Britain to play active role in global population policy, but officials stressed that she wanted to avoid a row with Washington.

Her Dutch colleague, Eveline Herfkens, has urged a “quick and strong” European response to Bush´s cuts. Brussels already gives family planning organizations about $44 million, mostly for contraception and educational work in Asia.

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